Funky Baguette

As I flip through my ever-growing pattern collection, I often wonder if I’m in need of an intervention. So many patterns, so many intentions and yet so little follow through. For instance, I’ve had an Echino purse pattern since 2008 and even bought the fabric but never got around to making it. Why?

In part, because the pattern is in Japanese. This may surprise you, but I can’t read or speak Japanese. Shocking, right? But the Japanese craft books and patterns usually are so detailed with diagrams that it’s really not necessary to be able to read the accompanying text.

Except this pattern. There’s one little diagram that I just wasn’t sure I understood. I finally took another look at it and realized my confusion: The little wiggly line means to gather the section between the arrows. And the diagram on the pattern sheet shows to gather the fabric to an opening of  29cm. Woooo!

And thus my newest purse came into being:

Kokka Baguette

The body of the bag is a fun, new linen/cotton blend from Kokka, part of the new Trefle line. My favorite bright colors+sewing images? LOVE! I lined it with an aqua and white gingham from the Michael Miller line Mini Mikes. The tabs and strap are made with the MM Cotton Couture line of solids (which I am so loving).

All told, I think the bag took maybe 90 minutes to cut and sew. My strap is a little longer than the pattern piece and I also made mine a little different (I cut it four times the finished size and folded it like bias tape, with a touch of Decor Bond to interface). I did mess up the tabs on the first go and these aren’t quite right, either. I also left two pins underneath one of them and had to work them out through the seam. Oops!

I usually don’t like bags without interior pockets but this silhouette doesn’t really lend itself to pockets. Fortunately the size it perfect for my must-have items so I don’t really need any pockets inside. I can seriously see myself making several more of these. Next time I want to use some of the Kokka ready-made strapping.

Sew Fun Birthday


Is anyone else addicted to Pinterest? I swear, I go back and forth between cursing and praising that site. On one hand, it’s such a time suck. On the other…well, I’ve definitely been inspired.



Pinterest played a key part in Miss L’s seventh birthday party, which started with this blog post. I instantly fell in love and just knew my bunny would love to celebrate her 7th with a sewing party.


I did a little appliqué and embroidery on linen for the party invites, scanned them in and added the rest of the details in Photoshop.


On Saturday, our guests were met at the door with a fun “wreath” made for the occasion.


We started out with some fun crafts with each girl making a little embroidered piece to take home and a funky felt floral headband.



A lunch of heart-shaped grilled cheese sandwiches, baby carrots with ranch dip, caramel drizzled apple slices, yogurt with fresh berries and sewing themed sugar cookies was served.






A cute-as-a-button cake and raspberry lemonade completed the meal.


We played a laugh-filled game of “put the spool on the sewing machine” and trotted out the props in a photo booth session.


The day ended with a piñata, also themed for the occasion (a giant spool of thread)!


Our birthday girl thanked each guest for coming with a handmade goodie bag and chocolate button lollipop.

The little miss deemed it “the best birthday ever,” which made it worth all the work.


Candy button molds, sewing cookie cutters, polka dot paper straws: Bake It Pretty

Flower Frill Clover template, party hats and crown pattern by The Quilted Fish, Michael Miller fabrics (polka dots from Children at Play, ginghams from Mini Mikes): Intown Quilters

Fabric pinwheels: tutorial by Sandi Henderson (modified)

Ruffled chair garlands: tutorial by Hank + Hunt

Cake: me and Publix (story to come)

Sugar cookies: Recipe from Cake Central, royal icing by CK from Cake Art Party Store, decorating tutorial (my first time decorating cookies like this!) by Sweetopia.

Drink bottles: Starbucks single-serving Frappuccino, saved for me by my son’s super sweet girlfriend (thanks again, Laura!)

Birthday banner: tutorial coming!

Spool piñata: tutorial coming!

Goodie bags: tutorial coming!

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Snow Day

I live in the South so it’s always an event when we get snow. Always.That’s why I’ve kept one eye on the weather forecast all week. The closer we got to Friday, the more our chance of snow increased: 30 percent, 40 percent, 60 percent, 70 percent.

How about 100 percent?

I think we’re up to about three inches and another two to four hours of snow falling still to come. It’s rumored that more of the white stuff is one the way Sunday or Monday. Not what I’d planned for this weekend at all.

Honey worked from home today and took a break late this afternoon to take Miss L out to play in the pretty snow. I followed behind, my trust camera in hand and my favorite insulated duck boots on.

The neighborhood kids were having a blast outside and thrilled to have a grown-up to gang up on with snowballs. Liesl could not get enough of playing in the snow, whether she was sledding, throwing snowballs, making snow angels or attempting to make a snowman. (Her big brother spent about two hours out there with his friends.)

As for me, I snapped a bunch of pictures then popped back into the warm, quiet house to enjoy the snow from my favorite vantage point: the living room.


The Original Sewing & Quilt Expo opens today! I’ve been the past two or three years and really enjoyed it, mostly just checking out all the cool wares for sale on the Expo floor. Last year, I even took a couple of classes and that was great.

There are lots of great deals to be had, especially on machines. I bought my sewing machine at the Expo last year for an amazing price. I’ve yet to see it lower anywhere in the past 12 months and it’s been a great machine (excepting that little ghost sewing incident).

If you’re going, be sure to stop by the Intown Quilters booth (231) and say “hi.” I’ll be working this morning (until about 1) and then again on Saturday.

Fast, Fun Feliz

I have been itching to get my hands on this pattern, the latest from Studio Tantrum. It’s the Feliz party dress and it just looks like such a fun pattern. When my friend Dawn started raving about it, I knew it would be a hit with me, too, since the two of us are pretty in sync when it comes to sewing.

I was not disappointed.

I had this dress cut and sewn in about an hour. My biggest challenge was finding two coordinating fabrics with enough yardage. The under dress requires a little more than a yard; I usually only buy about a yard of anything I sew for L because she’s so petite. I actually have a striped coordinate for the floral fabric but only a scant yard of it — and no hoping and rearranging of pattern pieces was going to make it magically long enough. Good thing I had so much of this polka dot (which I loooove); it’s a perfect match and really makes the orange pop.

The only thing I’m less-than-happy about is the elastic panel in the back of the underdress. The little miss was still asleep so I just winged it on the elastic. It’s turned out a little too roomy. It’s OK; I’ll adjust it next time. And it gives her a little growing room so she can wear it next summer as a longer top.

Actually that’s one of the things I think is cool about the pattern — it definitely grows with your child. It can be worn as a dress one year, a top the next and the designer says the straps can be removed and it worn as a skirt to get another year’s use out of it.

I’m going to cut and sew another one after dinner to send to my niece as a birthday gift, and I have a few more in mind for my sweetie with more fall transitional fabrics. Or maybe some of the summer ones I still haven’t gotten around to sewing.

(BTW, if you’re looking for the pattern, Fabric Hound, Bunte Fabrics, Banberry Place and Sewzanne’s all have it or have it on the way.)

Kissin’ Cousins

Popping on to share a couple of pics I took today. Honey’s brother and his family are visiting this weekend from NY. The little cousins bookend Miss L, and she’s having tons of fun playing with people her size. Lots of dress up with her younger, female cousin. Lots of trains and cars with her older, male cousin. It’s definitely a treat to hear so many little feet running around the house, as well as those little voices engaged in conversation. I’ve taken quite a few pics but am only sharing the ones without my niece and nephew’s faces since I don’t have permission from their folks.